MUS864: Introduction to Research in Music Education

 

Michigan State University

College of Music

Music Education Area

Course Syllabus

Summer 2016

Day and Time: MWF, 8:00-9:50am

July 7 & August 4, 7-10pm

 

 

Instructor: Mitchell Robinson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Music Education

School phone: 355.7555

Office: MPB 208

Email: mrob@msu.edu

 

 

 

 

Syllabus

 

Music teachers today are constantly bombarded with tantalizing claims of music’s power in influencing learning in other disciplines: “music makes you smarter,” “the Mozart Effect,” and “everyone knows that music and math (or science, or spelling, or athletic ability. . .) are related—those who do well in one do well in the other, like Einstein” are just a few examples of such claims.

 

This course provides graduate students interested in music education research with an introduction to techniques of educational research, with an emphasis on design and analysis, and with a critical review of selected current research studies in music education.   Armed with this knowledge, you will be better prepared to understand research in music education, recognize “good” research, and know how to use it in your classroom.

 

This course is intended to help you develop your understanding of:

 

1. the nature, purposes, and types of educational research in music.

2. procedures for reviewing research literature.

3. sampling procedures.

4. concepts and procedures relating to: descriptive research, correlational research, experimental research, and naturalistic research.

 

OBJECTIVES OF THE COURSE

 

At the conclusion of the course, students should be able to:

 

1. access and utilize the basic research journals and other sources of research reports and summaries, including those identified using computer technology (i.e., on-line and CD-ROM) in the field of music education.

2. describe the structure of most research studies.

3. understand and use most of the language, terms, and vocabulary found in research reports

4. appraise research in a systematic way; analyze and review what the researcher produced

5. independently retrieve, critique, and summarize research related to a particular topic in music education.

 

 

REQUIRED TEXTS

 

Creswell, John W. (2013). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches. (4th ed.) Sage Publications.

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY READING (on reserve)

 

Colwell, Richard and Richardson, Carol, eds.  (2002).  The New handbook of research on music teaching and learning.  New York:  Schirmer. [referred to as Handbook in course calendar.]

 

Merriam, S.  (1998).  Qualitative research and case study applications in education.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.

 

Miles, M. B & Huberman, A. M.  (1994).  Qualitative Data Analysis:  An Expanded Sourcebook.  New York:  Sage Publications.  (referred to as Sourcebook in course calendar.]

 

Wolcott, H. F.  (1994).  Transforming Qualitative Data:  Description, Analysis and Interpretation.  New York:  Sage Publications.

 

 

 

ATTENDANCE

 

For any summer session class, you are allowed two absences without an impact on your final grade. A third absence will lower your final grade by .5 and every subsequent absence will lower your final grade by an additional .5. Individual instructors may adopt more specific grading policies (for example, missing a required presentation or exam). If you know that you will have to miss class for ANY reason during the summer, please let the instructor know as soon as possible. 

 

We understand that you may have professional or personal commitments that require you to miss class. But because so much learning takes place during class time and because the class time is so compressed during the Summer Session, we also believe that absences beyond the two permitted must have an impact on your final grade for the course.

 

ACADEMIC HONESTY

 

Article 2.3.3 of the Academic Freedom Report states that “The student shares with the faculty the responsibility for maintaining the integrity of scholarship, grades, and professional standards.” In addition, the School of Music adheres to the policies on academic honesty as specified in General Student Regulations 1.0, Protection of Scholarship and Grades; the all-University Policy on Integrity of Scholarship and Grades; and Ordinance 17.00, Examinations.  (See Spartan Life: Student Handbook and Resource Guide and/or the MSU Web site: www.msu.edu.) Therefore, unless authorized by your instructor, you are expected to complete all course assignments, including homework, lab work, quizzes, tests and exams, without assistance from any source. You are not authorized to use the www.allmsu.com Web site to complete any course work in MUS277. Students who violate MSU rules may receive a penalty grade, including but not limited to a failing grade on the assignment or in the course.

 

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DISABILITIES

 

Students with disabilities will need to contact the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (353-9642 or http://www.rcpd.msu.edu/Home/) and work with me to arrange any needed accommodations, per the Center's recommendation. It is the student’s responsibility to register with the RCPD and to inform faculty of any special accommodations needed by the student as determined by Disability Specialists at the RCPD; Faculty do not determine accommodations.

 

SEXUAL HARRASSMENT POLICY

 

As your teacher, I wish to create a positive, comfortable learning environment. Each student has different boundaries emotionally and physically. The teaching of music has traditionally embraced a wide range of methods and techniques that may include physical contact between teacher and learner with the arms, shoulders, abdomen, head, neck and lower back. There is no music teaching technique that requires and physical contact with the student’s breast/chest, pubic area or buttocks. I will not initiate physical contact with a student without express permission from the student, and any such contact would be for pedagogical purposes only. We can also discuss any pedagogical interventions with which you are personally uncomfortable, and seek alternative strategies to accomplish these goals. Further, anatomical and physiological discussions may occur during the course of instruction, given the nature of music teaching and learning. These discussions should never include anything that is inappropriately sensual, sexual or suggestive in nature.

 

Should you believe that any violations of this policy occur in or out of class, you are encouraged to contact the following resources:

  1. Office of Student Affairs, Student Judiciary: 432-2471
  2. Dean of the College of Music: 355-4583
  3. Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives: 432-3898

ASSIGNMENTS & COURSE ASSESSMENT

 

Students not handing in assignments on time will receive an “Incomplete” until the assignments are submitted. Grades on individual assignments and projects will be reduced by .5 for every day that they are late. You may revise written work once before the end of the term, attaching copies of previous versions, so long as the original assignment was handed in on time. Final work should be submitted as attachments via email (preferred format: Microsoft Word, sent to: mrob@msu.edu).

 

There will be frequent class activities based on the readings that require participation, and students are expected to be prepared. This means doing the require reading every day before class so that discussion can be as meaningful as possible. Every student is expected to participate in class discussions and activities, and failure to do so will be considered in the grading process.

 

Grading:

Class participation and discussion = 50 points

Class assignments = 350 points   (see individual project descriptions below)

 

351-400 = 4.0

301-350 = 3.5

251-300 = 3.0

201-250 = 2.5

151-200 = 2.0

101-150 = 1.5

51-100 = 1.0

0-50 = 0.0

 

Failure to complete any portion of the above requirements may result in failure of the course.

 

ASSIGNMENTS

 

1.  Questions (required, not graded)

 

For each class, you are to write 2 multiple choice questions (4 option response) based on either the Creswell chapter reading for the class, or a research study or article that you have read in preparation for the class. Send the questions to me in the body of an email message, not as an attachment, the night before each class meeting. It is my hope that this will solidify learning for you each week.

 

2.  URL Search and Report of Popular Research (required, not graded) July 8

 

  1. Surf the web for web sites related to this course. Send URL to me via email. We will discuss your sites in class. 
  2. Find an example (or 2!) of research reported in the popular media (newspapers, magazines, internet)—send to me via email, and be prepared to discuss in class.

 

3.  Writing Exercises (required, not graded)

 

Brief writing exercises targeting specific research tasks (creating a title page, crafting research questions, etc.) will be assigned periodically. See course calendar for dates and details. Due as specified.

 

4.  Research Critiques, July 11, July 18, July 25 

 

Each student is required to complete 3 brief critiques of published research reports of their choice. These reports may be on topics chosen for the final Research Paper.

 

The format is as follows:

1.     Bibliographic listing of the article title

2.     Type of research (historical, case study, etc.)

3.     Purpose of the study

4.     Research design

5.     Results

6.     Your thoughts on the study

 

Do not exceed three pages for each completed Research Critique.

 

(3 @ 25 points each)

 

5. “Thick Description”, July 18

 

Each student will conduct a detailed, naturalistic observation of a musical and/or educational activity, and complete a “write up” of the observation.  Brief oral reports on these observations will be made during class. 

 

(50 points)

 

6. Scavenger Hunt, July 20

 

Choose one of the journals (either paper or electronic versions are acceptable) from the provided list, and discuss that journal’s: intended audience, purpose, focus and scope, editor(s) or sponsor of the publication, and guidelines for contributors.  Briefly summarize one report from the journal.

 

(25 points)

 

7. Statistics Exercise  (required, not graded) July 29

 

Short, focused homework exercises addressing basic elements of empirical inquiry.

 

8. Survey Poster Project and Presentation, August 1

 

Each student will design and complete a modest research report in which data are gathered by survey or questionnaire and displayed visually on a poster. Results will be shared with the class during a poster session in class on August 1. Students are encouraged (but not required) to complete this assignment in groups of two or three. Each presentation will consist of a poster (electronic or paper) describing the survey and its administration, and should include the following items:

 

a)     Introduction/background

b)    Statement of research purpose

c)     Description of procedures followed

d)    Synthesis of data collected

e)     Analysis of data

f)     Conclusions drawn

 

(50 points)

 

9. Lightning Talks on Final Research Paper Topics: August 4 (7-10pm) & 5 (8-9:55am)

 

(from CMS) What are Lightning Talks?

 

Lightning Talks differ substantially from a delivered paper. They are presentations in which imagery supports the message. They are not simply PowerPoint or Keynote slides with bullet points to deliver content, but are a creative endeavor through which thinking is supported and made manifest. Lightning Talks are brief, 5-minute presentations that focus on a single topic, example, idea, project, or technique. Lightning Talks do not attempt to cover all aspects of their subject matter, but present one facet of the idea clearly and succinctly. 

 

For an example of an award-winning Lightning Talk, given in 3 minutes, 30 seconds, please watch the following YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hghpuxCHTc

 

For further information on giving Lightning Talks, please access: http://www.perl.com/pub/a/2004/07/30/lightningtalk.html

 

For our purposes, think of your Lightning Talk as something that you might present at a school board meeting, for a parent group or music booster presentation, or offer as a pre-concert talk for parents. Don't be too concerned with explaining all of the details regarding your policy issue or topic--get to the "big picture" right away, and keep the discussion focused tightly on your main point. Think about your intended audience and craft your message so that it is easily understandable and jargon-free.

 

There will be two opportunities to present Lightning Talks, one during Week 3 (on a topic or issue of your choice) and the other during Week 6 (on the topic or issue you are addressing for your Final Project). Sign up information will be provided in class.

 

Some guidelines:

  • your talk must be no longer than 5 minutes, and use no more than 8 slides
  • focus on a single topic or issue
  • think "Ted Talk" meets "speed dating”

Tips for an entertaining, joyous, and informative lightning talk:

  • Get to the point quickly; invest no more than one minute on setup and background.
  • Select a relevant topic for the audience.
  • Share one great idea.
  • Tell a story; storytelling is universal and we all have a story to tell.
  • Show passion for an idea; spread your joy.
  • Share information but resist the temptation to explain in detail.
  • Use more pictures and fewer words; if you use text, make sure it is at least 50 pts.
  • Plan on not using the first and the last slides, time flies when you’re having fun.
  • Don’t forget that the audience is on your side.
  • Remember that delivery is as important as content.
  • Practice, practice, practice.
  • Practice with a timer (there’s an app for that).
  • End strong and “power wrap” your lightning talk… restate your one great idea.

from: https://barriebyron.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/so-you-want-to-give-a-lightning-talk/

 

(50 points)

 

10. Research Paper (Partial Research Proposal): All final Research Papers are due August 5

 

Each student will complete a 12-15 page paper in correct APA form, including references and title page on a topic of their choice.  A brief statement of the topic for the paper is due in class during the middle of the term.  The format for the paper is as follows:

 

a)     Introduction/background

b)    Review of (minimum) 12-15 research articles related to single topic

c)     Conclusions drawn from studies

d)    Your suggestions for further research on this topic

e)     References in correct bibliographic form (APA)

 

(100 points)

 

Course Calendar

 

 

Date

Readings & Assignments

Topics

 

Class 1

July 6

 

 

 

 

NOTE:  Readings and assignments listed are to be done for the day on which they appear.  For example, the reading and assignment in the box for Class 2 are due Friday.

 

For July 8: Surf the web for sites related to this course. Be ready to discuss your site in class tomorrow.

 

Also for July 8: Find an example (or 2) of research reported in the popular media (newspapers, magazines, internet)—be prepared to discuss in class.

What is research?
Defining the topic:  What’s the study about?

Interesting vs. important, and to whom (issues of audience/venue).

Purpose of the study—who will it inform? 

How is research reported in popular media?

 

Discuss readings: Daum, M.  (2000, March). Music is my bag. Harpers Magazine.

 

Duke, R. A.  (2000).  The Other Mozart Effect:  An Open Letter to Music Educators.  Update, 43, (2), 112-126.

 

In-class Review: Prickett, C. & Bridges, M. (2000).  A comparison of the basic song repertoire of vocal/choral and instrumental music education majors. Journal of Research in Music Education, 48, (1), 5-9.

Special Class Meeting

July 7

7-10pm

 

Special Guests:

 

Mark Adams

Daniel Albert

Becky Marsh

Andrea VanDeusen

Researchers' Roundtable: Interactive discussions with 4 researchers on their current projects.

 

Class 2

July 8

 

 

READ:  Brinkman, D. & Mallett, C.  (2000).  Questions asked in job interviews of music teachers.  Journal of Music Teacher Education, Fall, 16-23.

 

READ: Reichardt, C., and Rallis, S. (1994). The relationship between the qualitative and quantitative research traditions. In C. Reichardt and S. Rallis (Eds.). New Directions for Program Evaluation, 61, 5-11.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

 

READ:  Creswell, Ch. 1, “The Selection of a Research Approach” (pp. 3-23)

and

Ch. 5, “The Introduction” (pp. 107-121)

 

PREPARE:  Creswell, Ch. 1: Complete writing exercises #1 and #3 on p. 22 (identify a research question in a journal article, discuss what design would best address the question and why; what distinguishes a quantitative from a qualitative study), and writing exercise #2 on p. 120 (write a 1 paragraph intro that focuses on the research problem or topic you have chosen—do not write the other paragraphs mentioned in the exercise)

 

PREPARE: Identify the Purpose Statement(s) in Brinkman & Mallett—send to me via email

Making a Match:  How to choose the right best paradigm for your study

 

Examples from the Lit

Relate discussion to sample study (Brinkman & Mallett).

 

Discuss students’ research topics and ideas; discuss strengths and weaknesses of specific paradigms. 

 

Robinson & Fredrickson studies

 

Review handout on writing tips and APA style

Class 3

July 11

 

 

PREPARE: Begin thinking about an appropriate paradigm for your hypothetical study.

 

PREPARE: Identify the Research Questions in Brinkman & Mallett, or another study—send to me via email

 

Research Critique #1 due

Searching for Sources in all the Right Places...

 

Session on how to use MSU Electronic Resources; searching for sources, including on-line sources, refining search terms. Bring a few possible topics to search.

Class 4

July 13

READ: Creswell, Ch. 6, “The Purpose Statement” (pp. 123-138)

and

Creswell, Ch. 7, “Research Questions and Hypotheses” (pp. 139-153)

 

PREPARE: Complete writing exercise #1 or #2, p. 137 in Creswell, by writing a “script” for a purpose statement for your topic. Follow Creswell’s guides on pp. 126 (qualitative) and pp. 130 (quantitative); choose one only.

 

PREPARE: Complete writing exercise #1 or #2 (qualitative or quantitative), on p. 152 in Creswell.

Asking the right questions:  Questions, questions, questions. . .

 

Grand Tour Questions

Hypotheses (Null and other)

 

 

Class 5

July 15

 

 

READ:

 

Reading Dyad #1 (read the entire study, but focus on abstract, introduction, purpose statement, research questions, and delimitations and bounding issues)

 

Silvey, P. E. (2005). Learning to perform Benjamin Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb: The perspectives of three high school choral singers. Journal of Research in Music Education, 53, (2), 102-119.

or

Abril, C. R. & Gault, B.M. (2006). The State of Music in the Elementary School: The Principal’s Perspective.

Journal of Research in Music Education, 54, (1), 6-20.

 

PREPARE: brief (1-2 pp.) written summary of selected specimen study’s abstract, introduction, research focus, purpose statement, and boundaries, submitted via email.

Elements of design:  The components of a research study

Abstract & Introduction

Purpose statement

Delimiting or bounding the study

 

In-class discussion of specimen studies.

Class 6

July 18

 Research Critique #2 due

 

PREPARE and PRESENT:  “Thick Description” of music or educational activity, submitted via email. Be prepared to read and discuss in class.

Student Presentations: Thick Descriptions

Class 7

July 20

Scavenger Hunt due

 

READ:  Creswell, Ch. 2, “Review of the Literature” (pp. 25-50)

 

PREPARE:  Writing exercise #1, p. 49 (develop a visual map of the literature related to your topic). Send to me as an attachment via email.

 

Reading Dyad #2 (read the entire study, but focus on the reviews of the literature and references sections)

 

Brittin, R. (2005). Preservice and experienced teachers’ plans for beginning instrumentalists.  Journal of Research in Music Education, 53, (1), 26-39.

or

Schmidt, M. (2005).  Preservice string teachers’ lesson-planning processes: An exploratory study. Journal of Research in Music Education, 53, (1), 6-25.

 

 

PREPARE:  Final version of topic for research paper—1 page, submitted via email.

Elements of design:  The components of a research study

 

Review of the literature: What do we know already?

Placement in the study and the research process

Use of the literature, grounding the study

 

 

Refer to specimen studies.

Class 8

July 22

 

 

READ:

Creswell, Ch. 8, “Quantitative Methods” (pp. 155-182, on surveys)

and

Creswell, Ch. 9, “Qualitative Procedures” (pp. 183-213, on data collecting strategies)

 

Elements of design:  The components of a research study

Collecting/gathering the data: 

Sampling

Surveys

Interviewing

Observing

Documenting

 

Refer to specimen studies.

Class 9

July 25

Reading Dyad #3

(read the entire study, but focus on method/design sections and data collection techniques employed)

 

McLain, B. P. (2005). Environmental support and music teacher burnout. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, 164, 71-84.

or

Scheib, J. (2003). Role stress in the professional life of the school music teacher: A collective case study. Journal of Research in Music Education, 51, (2), 124-136.

 

PREPARE: brief written summary of selected study’s data collection approach and techniques employed, submitted via email.

 

(Collect Survey/Questionnaire data for presentations next week)

 

Research Critique #3 due

 

Survey and Questionnaire Work Day

Class 10

July 27

 

 

 

READ:

Creswell, “Data Analysis and Interpretation,”  (pp. 162-174), “Threats to Validity” (pp. 174-180) and “Validity and Reliability,” (pp. 201-204).

 

Reading Dyad #4

(read the entire study, but focus on analysis and validity/trustworthiness sections)

 

Hornbach, C. M. & C. C. Taggart. (2005). The relationship between developmental tonal aptitude and singing achievement among Kindergarten, first-, second-, and third-grade students.  Journal of Research in Music Education, 53, (4), 322-331.

or

Miranda, M. (2004). The implications of Developmentally Appropriate Practice for the Kindergarten general music classroom. Journal of Research in Music Education, 52, (1), 43-63.

 

PREPARE: brief written summary of selected study’s approach to data verification process and statistics used, if appropriate, submitted via email.

Elements of design:  The components of a research study

Analyzing the data:

Coding

Internal and external validity

Basic statistics

 

 

 

Class 11

July 29

 

 

READ: we will use the Hornbach & Taggart and Miranda articles for this class discussion also; but please read the opposite article for this discussion.

 

PREPARE: brief written summary of selected study’s approach to data verification process and statistics used, if appropriate, submitted via email.

 

PRESENT: Statistics exercise

Elements of design:  The components of a research study

Verifying the data: 

Triangulation

Trustworthiness

Rich/“Thick” descriptions

Audit trails

Member checks

Peer debriefers

External auditors/Outside readers

 

Role of the researcher

 

Class 12

August 1

 

Student Presentations:

 

Survey Poster Projects

Elements of design:  The components of a research study

Outcomes/results

What to do when you’re done! 

Sharing the results—

Venues, conferences, symposia, poster sessions

Journals

 

Calls for papers, proposals

 

 

Class 13

August 3

 

 

READ:

Humphreys, J. T. & Stauffer, S. L.  (2000).  An analysis of the Editorial Committee of the Journal of Research in Music Education, 1953-1992. Journal of Research in Music Education,  48, (1), 65-77

and

Brittin, R. & Standley, J. M  (1997).  Researchers in music education/therapy:  Analysis of publications, citations, and retrievability of work.  Journal of Research in Music Education, 45, (1), 145-161.

and

Kratus, J. (1993). Eminence in music education research as measured in the Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, 118, 21-32.

and

Randles, et al. (2010). Eminence in Music Education Research as Measured in the New Handbook of Research. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, 183.

and

Teachout, D. J. (2004). Incentives and barriers for potential music teacher education doctoral students. Journal of Research in Music Education, 52, (3), 234-247.

Where are we?:  The current state of music education research and trends for the future.

 

 

 

 

Special Class Meeting #2

August 4

7-10pm

 

Lightning Talks:  Research Paper Topics

Class 14

August 5

PREPARE:  Final written versions of Research Papers are due.

 

Class wrap-up, final questions & thoughts

Lightning Talks:  Research Paper Topics

 

 

 

 

 

Download
Music is My Bag: Confessions of a Lapsed Oboist
by Meghan Daum
MusicIsMyBag.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 136.3 KB
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Scavenger Hunt.doc
Microsoft Word Document 24.0 KB
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Thick Description rubric
TDrubric.doc
Microsoft Word Document 41.0 KB
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Survey Poster Project marking scheme
surveymarkingscheme.doc
Microsoft Word Document 30.5 KB
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Research Critique rubric
RCrubric.doc
Microsoft Word Document 44.0 KB
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Statistics Exercise
stats#1.doc
Microsoft Word Document 35.5 KB
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The Other Mozart Effect: An Open Letter to Music Educators
by Robert Duke
Duke.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 831.2 KB
Download
A comparison of the basic song repertoire of vocal/choral and instrumental music education majors
prickett&bridges.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 256.7 KB
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Questions asked in job interviews of music teachers
brinkman&mallett.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 608.4 KB
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The relationship between the qualitative and quantitative research traditions
Reichardt&Rallis.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1'017.2 KB
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Learning to perform Benjamin Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb: The perspectives of three high school choral singers
silvey.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.5 MB
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The State of Music in the Elementary School: The Principal’s Perspective
abril&gault.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 370.1 KB
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Preservice and experienced teachers’ plans for beginning instrumentalists
brittin.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.6 MB
Download
Preservice string teachers’ lesson-planning processes: An exploratory study
schmidt.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.3 MB
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Environmental support and music teacher burnout
McLain.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 943.2 KB
Download
Role stress in the professional life of the school music teacher: A collective case study
scheib.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.1 MB
Download
The relationship between developmental tonal aptitude and singing achievement among Kindergarten, first-, second-, and third-grade students
hornbach&taggart.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 979.5 KB
Download
The implications of Developmentally Appropriate Practice for the Kindergarten general music classroom
miranda.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.5 MB
Download
An analysis of the Editorial Committee of the Journal of Research in Music Education, 1953-1992.
humphreys&stauffer.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.2 MB
Download
Researchers in music education/therapy: Analysis of publications, citations, and retrievability of work
brittin&standley.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 519.2 KB
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Eminence in music education research as measured in the Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning
Kratus.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 916.4 KB
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Eminence in Music Education Research as Measured in the New Handbook of Research
Randles_etal.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 185.9 KB
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Incentives and barriers for potential music teacher education doctoral students
teachout.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 3.2 MB
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LitReview.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.3 MB